BOSTON (CBS) – Giving holiday gifts to men and women who have served their country, and now need a hand, is the goal of the Adopt-A-Vet program. Hundreds of volunteers are answering the call at the New England Center For Homeless Veterans in Boston.

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Gifts are coming in by the bagful and volunteers are wrapping them up. All will be given to the more than 300 veterans who live there.

“It shows that people care, we haven’t been forgotten,” says Louise Marvel who served in the Air Force. She’s called the center home for the last two months. “It’s really nice, especially when a lot of people don’t have anything, this is really nice,” she says.

The hope is to provide homeless veterans some of the essentials while they make a transition to permanent housing. Employees from many Boston area companies have joined the effort.

“The needs are very simple,” says Gael Henville of Liberty Mutual. “Shampoo, razors, books, gift cards, clothing.”

“We feel that it’s very important for us to bring some holiday cheer for those in need in our communities and to those who have protected us in the past,” says Priscilla Santana of Sun Life Financial.

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Adopt-A-Vet has been a mainstay at the center for 17 years.

“With the community support, they really help make the center, at this time of year, really a home for the veterans who are here with us,” says Andrew McCawley who works at the center.

“We brought over ten bags, large bags of gifts,” says Diane Statkus of IBM. “Giving to a concrete group of people that they can thank via the gifts is really important.”

“My brother is a vet so it means a lot to me,” says Randy James of the Association of Legal Administrators. “The least I can do is give back a little bit for the sacrifices he makes.”

“They really appreciate the veterans for what we did for them,” says Joe Finn, who served in the Navy. He lived at the center for a time and now volunteers. “They’re giving back to us like we gave to the country. It’s real important to us. It makes us feel really good.”

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